Every year as summer draws to an end, families across the country start crossing items off their back-to-school checklists. Along with backpacks and school supplies, planning for the beginning of the school year includes ensuring immunizations are up-to-date and physicals are complete. As the start of the school year usually brings a wave of ‘bugs’ or infections, it’s essential to recognize the critical need to enhance cleaning and hygiene efforts in classrooms and school facilities.
With tight budgets, less time, and fewer resources for custodial staff, it is imperative for your school to have an efficient cooperative purchasing strategy to secure the right cleaning products and sanitation supplies.
How does cleaning help reduce infection transmission? By removing infection-causing microbes, or pathogens, from school surfaces commonly touched by little (and big) hands. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cleaning and promoting hand hygiene are important everyday actions schools can take to slow the spread of infectious diseases and protect students and staff.32
So, what are the best cleaning solutions to limit the number of germs on surfaces? Introducing microfiber. Microfiber is comprised of exactly what the name implies — “micro” or tiny fibers, each of which can penetrate the nooks and crannies of a surface, removing the microbes that may be seeking refuge within them.19 In this blog, you will discover the top two reasons to implement microfiber tools into your staff’s cleaning routine.
1. Maximum Efficacy
Research has shown that cleaning with microfiber products optimizes the removal of dirt, debris, and microorganisms compared to other textiles,15-18 in large part because physical removal is what microfiber does best.
A number of state health departments and professional education organizations advocate the use of microfiber for surface cleaning, citing that microfiber’s cleaning capability is superior to paper towels, cotton cloths, and mops.8,20-23 While the CDC does not specifically endorse any cleaning products, they highlight microfiber’s removal of soils and microorganisms, stating “Microfiber cloths are often preferred over cotton for both cleaning cloths and mop heads because microfiber absorbs more dirt and microorganisms than cotton.”24-25
A study was conducted at an elementary school in Georgia to assess the impact of utilizing microfiber cloths for surface cleaning. They saw firsthand how Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP) Light Commercial Microfiber Cloths significantly reduced germs and bacteria on classroom surfaces by 83.4 percent. Participating agencies of OMNIA Partners have complete access to a variety of Rubbermaid microfiber products, thanks to our cooperative contract portfolio of leading suppliers.
2. Ergonomic Value
Microfiber’s value isn’t just limited to achieving cleaner surfaces. Productivity is crucial to ensuring your facility stays safe and clean throughout the day during times of need and everyday activities.
Studies from the University of California Davis and the University of Massachusetts Lowell found that replacing cotton mops with microfiber mopping systems resulted in improved worker productivity, reduced chemical and water usage, and may reduce the potential for worker injury.16,18
Commercial cleaning staff at a high school in Chicago had their work cut out for them using string mops to clean classroom floors in the 500,000 square-foot facility. Recognizing the importance of floor care, the staff mopped floors five times a day.
After testing out RCP’s Adaptable Flat Mop, a wringable microfiber system, staff noticed that the mop was lightweight, easier to move when mopping rooms and staircases, and allowed them to reach corners and underneath desks without bending over or moving furniture. These ergonomic advantages were complemented by faster drying times, which saved staff valuable time throughout their day-to-day cleaning.
As you prepare for the upcoming school year, think about implementing Rubbermaid microfiber products into your cleaning routine to keep students and staff safe and healthy. By utilizing Rubbermaid products through your favorite distributor’s cooperative contract with OMNIA Partners, you can procure the right cleaning solutions while saving significant time and money. For more information about our cooperative contracts, visit the OMNIA Partners, Public Sector portfolio.
About Rubbermaid Commercial Products
Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP), headquartered in Huntersville, NC, is a manufacturer of innovative, solution-based products for commercial and institutional markets worldwide. Since 1968, RCP has pioneered technologies and system solutions in the categories of washroom and safety, cleaning, waste handling, material transport, and food services. Visit Rubbermaid Commercial Products to learn how you can get RCP products through your favorite distributor today.
About OMNIA Partners
OMNIA Partners is the largest and most experienced organization in procurement and supply chain management. Covering both the private and public sectors, OMNIA Partners unites industry-leading buying power and world-class suppliers to offer an extensive portfolio of sourcing solutions and partnerships. Learn more about the contracting process here.
8. National Cleaning for Healthy Schools and Infection Control Workgroup. Cleaning for Healthy Schools—Infection Control Workbook. Accessed 24 May 2021
15. Rutala WA, Gergen MF, Weber DJ. Microbiologic evaluation of microfiber mops for surface disinfection. Am J Infect Control. 2007 Nov; 35(9):569-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2007.02.009.
16. Environmental Protection Agency. Environmental Best Practices for Health Care Facilities: Using Microfiber Mops in Hospitals Accessed 8 June 2021
17. Gillespie E, Lovegrove A, Kotsanas D. Health care workers use disposable microfiber cloths for cleaning clinical equipment. Am J Infect Control. 2015 Mar 1;43(3):308-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2014.12.003.
18. University of Massachusetts Lowell. Case Study: Are Microfiber Mops Beneficial for Hospitals? https://www.uml.edu/docs/
19. Wren MWD, Rollins MSM, Jeanes A, Hall TJ, Coen PG, Grant VA. Removing bacteria from hospital surfaces: a laboratory comparison of ultramicrofibre and standard cloths. J Hosp Infect 2008; 70(3): 265-271
20. National Education Association. Cleaning and Disinfecting in the COVID-19 Era: What Educators Need to Know Accessed 8 June 2021
21. Washington State Department of Health. Classroom Cleaning Tips for Teachers. Accessed 24 May 2021.
22. New Jersey Department of Health. Cleaning with Microfiber Cloths and Mops: Best Practices for Healthy Childcare Centers. Accessed 24 May 2021.
23. American Federation of Teachers. Why Should Early Childhood Educators Implement a Green Cleaning Sanitizing and Disinfecting Program? Accessed 24 May 2021.
24. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Best Practices for Environmental Cleaning in Healthcare Facilities: in Resource-Limited Settings. Accessed 24 May 2021.
25. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities. Accessed 28 May 2021
32. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cleaning, Disinfection, and Hand Hygiene: a Toolkit for School Administrators. Accessed 29 June 2021